How to find a suitable provider – the most important criteria for an ETF Broker Test
ETF trading offer: savings plans and more
As with equities, it is possible to diversify broadly, thus minimising your risk. Indeed, it is interesting to note how many ETFs are available with a broker. For many investors, savings rates and savings plans with ETFs are of particular interest – in order to create a portfolio that allows them to profit from the highest possible returns in the event of a positive development.
There are now more than 1,000 ETFs available for trading, but not all of them are suitable for savings schemes. Instead, they are traded directly. Therefore, an ETF broker will distinguish between the selection of savings compatible ETFs and those available for pure trading. With this information you can gain an indication as to whether the platform could be of interest to you.
Investors often ask how it’s possible to generate good returns without high capital investment. Savings plans with ETFs are one such possibility and can usually be accessed, even with a relatively low capital investment. Over fixed saving rates, ETF deposits build up slowly – thus the yield increases. However, since not all ETFs offer the same opportunities for good returns, it is an advantage if the broker provides the widest possible selection of appropriate ETFs for savings plans.
ETF trading costs – savings rates and fees reviewed
In a broker comparison it’s worth taking a closer look at an ETF provider’s terms & conditions. Depending on your investment requirements, the main focus is typically on the minimum savings rates and the various intervals. The minimum savings rate is the lowest amount that can be used to invest in a savings plan. If you conduct an ETF broker comparison, you will notice significant differences between individual providers. Equally important, however, is the interval for ETF investments – can savings be made on a monthly, quarterly and biannual basis?
Comparing order fees for ETF trading
Generally, ETFs are considered a cheap investment opportunity, which should be reflected in the order fees. In your comparison, check how high the fees are for an order and for each savings rate. Depending on the provider, there are fixed prices or order fees calculated as a percentage. Occasionally, these two options are combined. Comparing the individual broker fees will help you assess which costs are favourable and whether a broker is in the upper price range.
Accounts and portfolios in an ETF provider comparison
In order to ensure your capital accumulation, it’s important to check the accounts and portfolios offered by a broker. Some banks have already included ETF savings plans in their offerings. They offer the account holder the opportunity to open a deposit and create one or more savings plans. Brokers specialising in ETF saving and trading in ETFs may differ somewhat in their approach, and work with different account models for investors to choose from. The deposits and account models are usually based on the amount of saving rates or deposits of the investor.
Find out about the account options
Before opening an account with an ETF provider, it makes sense to check which account options are available. Are there different portfolios? How are they different? Can you save on fees at higher savings rates? In some cases, the providers use comparison tables to explain the different models. Often, the services vary and not every deposit is suitable for every investor. In a direct comparison of providers, you can see at a glance which conditions best meet your requirements.
The trading platform for investments
When trading ETFs, it makes sense to test out the trading platform. Normally with an ETF broker this is quite simple. With just a few clicks you can buy and sell ETFs as well as create or dissolve savings plans. It can also be appealing if the platform has other features, such as:
- Information about each ETF
- Development of ETF prices
- A presentation of the development of your savings rates
- A presentation of the development of your purchases and sales
It is relatively easy to buy ETFs or to open savings plans, but our experience has shown that certain strategies should also be implemented. If you already have some ETF experience, you are likely to know that, unlike financial instruments such as Forex, it isn’t absolutely necessary to study trading strategies in detail – especially if the trading platform is well-positioned and well-structured. Among other factors, the ETF development presentation makes it easy to assess which ETFs might make sense for your investment needs. A clear and well-equipped trading platform is therefore relatively easy to recognise.
THE WEBSITE AS A KEY FACTOR IN THE ETF BROKER TEST
For a broker to be considered the best ETF provider, first impressions are key. Take a look at the broker’s website – a well-designed site is certainly a plus. As a trader, if you want to find out more about a broker, a look at their online presence is a must.
You should be able to find the following information easily:
- Which ETFs can be traded?
- Are there any ETFs for savings plans, and if so, how many?
- What are the fees for trading?
- What contact options are there for customer support?
- What about regulation and deposit insurance?
Preferably, all content should be available in English – this is generally the case with ETF providers. In terms of website content, all important information, including legal documents and other important topics, should be clearly displayed. Ideally, the website’s layout and design should make it easy to find all important information.
THE VALUE OF COMPETENT CUSTOMER SUPPORT
ETFs are a very popular form of investment with beginners. They are considered far less risky than traditional funds, are easy to understand and, at best, deliver a solid return. Nevertheless, it is possible that you may have questions, and therefore it is advisable to pay attention to customer support. This should not only be easily accessible, but also friendly and as competent as possible.
The ‘Best ETF Broker’ award is only given to a provider if their customer service is up to standard. Among other aspects, the provider’s contact options are important – telephone support is especially advantageous. Live chat is sometimes provided but is less common among ETF brokers. Support via contact form or e-mail are options that are almost always available for use. Take a look at the opening times, as some suppliers are only available on workdays until 6pm, while others have support staff available even during weekends.
Payment methods – how to make deposits and withdrawals
Regarding your deposit options, the foremost aspect is whether you want to buy ETFs directly or create a savings plan. When buying directly, money must be transferred into the broker’s account. This usually works in different ways:
- SOFORT transfer
- Credit card
- Bank transfer
- PayPal, Skrill, Neteller
You can choose your preferred method, and usually the processing time and possible fees are a deciding factor – the latter is generally not incurred by the broker. With a traditional bank transfer, it often takes a few days for the money to arrive and enable you to start trading. Credit cards, as well as instant transfers or payments using online services like Skrill, are a very popular alternative. Accordingly, your evaluation may look at which methods are offered for deposit and withdrawal.
If you want to create one or more savings plans with ETFs, you do not have to pay funds in directly. The rate is debited at the desired interval from a reference account, for which you will need to provide the account details. After verification, funds are debited as soon as the savings plan has been commissioned. A payout upon dissolving the savings plan is only possible to the reference account.
Additional offers with an ETF broker: Benefit from the advantages
Additional offers provided by brokers can be very helpful for traders. Providers are considering how to offer their customers ever more benefits. Providing opportunities for education and training are popular choices with ETF brokers. Also, they may offer encyclopaedias, explain strategies or offer simple introductions to the ETF field.
Using an ETF broker‘s model portfolio
If you want to find out how to benefit from an ETF savings plan, or how your portfolio could develop within a range of ETFs, you may be able to access an additional service with some providers – the model portfolio. This is especially popular with users who want to gain ETF experience. Even if you already have some ETF experience and knowledge of ETF performance, a model portfolio is a very popular offer. It allows you to test different strategies and their development. The projected development is often based upon past performance. This is enough for many traders to gain a first impression.
The security issue – relevant for ETF trading
Finding a reputable ETF broker is not always easy, even with the best provider comparison. It helps to have a look at the regulations.
Supervision is the responsibility of the tax authorities in the broker’s country. In Britain, for example, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is responsible. These authorities regularly monitor the activities of financial service providers and intervene if necessary. Although ETF fraud cannot be completely ruled out, it is highly unlikely, as the price development of exchange traded funds can be viewed at any time. Security checks should also include how the broker safeguards client money and whether they follow certain guidelines.
Privacy as an important PRINCIPLE
Online data theft through insufficiently secure connections is a big issue. When it comes to determining and comparing the best ETF provider for you, data protection and encryption should also be assessed. Although a broker test or review is not a guarantee of security, you will often find useful information on the subject – including the fact that you can protect yourself by choosing a secure password, for example.
REVIEWS IN THE TRADE PRESS AND ETF BROKER AWARDS
There are some aspects of a broker comparison that are not necessarily crucial, but they can certainly provide information on whether a broker has a good reputation and can be considered reliable. These include checking reviews in the trade press, for example. There are always articles referring to various ETF providers that take a look behind the scenes. Advantages and disadvantages are generally addressed in equal measure. When a broker is reviewed in the media, you will often find links to these articles on the broker’s website.
POSSIBLE AWARDS FOR ETF BROKERS
Of course, the ‘Best ETF Broker’ award is a truly special accolade for any provider. The trade press and websites will often give awards related to specific areas. Examples include awards such as ‘Broker with Best Support’ or ‘Broker with a Very Good ETF Selection’. A broker may also have multiple awards if they have excelled in different areas. Less informative, however, are personal opinions, such as those found in forums. These exchanges of experiences can be helpful but are mostly the subjective opinions of individual traders.
MARKET OVERVIEW AND OUTLOOK
ETFs track the index of different companies and have developed significantly as an investment in recent years. While there was uncertainty among investors in the beginning, today, ETFs are considered a very good balance of risk and performance. The fees are very low compared to other funds, so the bottom-line returns are often higher. The market is currently well served – more than 1,000 ETFs can be traded in Germany alone, with some of them also suitable for savings plans. Accordingly, traders have a large selection. If, however, you are trading directly with ETFs you should, as with any other financial instrument, obtain in-depth information on the topic.
ETFs – THE FUTURE PROSPECTS
Exchange Traded Funds are considered a very good investment and are recommended for long-term strategies. It is currently not anticipated that ETFs will disappear from the market. Indeed, new ETFs regularly appear on the market, meaning an increase in the selection of ETFs is expected. The development of Exchange Traded Funds may vary, and of course, fluctuations are also possible. However, if experienced traders watch the market and keep an eye on prices, they should not have too much difficulty responding quickly. ETFs can be liquidated quickly, which makes them even more interesting as an investment.
COMPARING ETF PROVIDERS AND FINDING THE BEST ETF BROKER FOR YOUR REQUIREMENTS
In our ETF broker test, we have scrutinised different providers so you can compare them based on a range of data in different categories. Trade, cost and fee information, additional offers and regulatory information give you a comprehensive picture without having to register. With long-term investments such as ETFs, it is advisable to become extensively informed in advance. If you have not yet decided on a financial instrument and are considering investing in securities, we recommend that you consult our share deposit account comparison. On AskTraders, you have the opportunity to find your bearings in a number of ways and gain a clear overview of the market.
Simply because a provider is showcased as our ‘Best ETF Broker’, it doesn’t necessarily mean they will meet your requirements – use our comparison tools and find the provider that suits you best!